Did Eric Edelman Lie to the Plame Grand Jury?


And did he do it to protect Dick?

I admit. I can’t help myself. By some strange force, I found myself back at Prettyman this week, wading through the million-dollar CIPA battle that Libby waged in his graymail attempts (for the record, Fitz must say "graymail" about 20 times by the second day of these hearings). And in a December 29, 2005 defense filing (I haven’t scanned it yet, either because I was liveblogging all day or I’m just trying to torture Jeff) asking for further information to be declassified in response to the Jencks information they got, I found this footnote clarifying the sentence, "According to [Libby’s CIA briefer, Craig] Schmall, ‘Since I had no knowledge of the ambassador or his wife, I presume Libby gave me [the names Joe Wilson and Valerie Wilson].’"

Eric Edelman, whom the government recently decided not to call as a witness, contradicts Mr. Schmall on this point. According to Mr. Edelman, sometime before June 6, 2003 (when Mr. Edelman left the OVP), Mr. Schmall "identified the former envoy as Joseph Wilson" and "advised Edelman that the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division sent Wilson to Niger to conduct the inquiry, not the OVP." 6/23/04 Edelman FBI 302 at 2. According to Mr. Edelman, Mr. Schmall showed him internal CIA emails about the Wilson trip. 8/6/04 Edelman Grand Jury T. at 16. In addition, Mr. Schmall may have told Mr. Edelman during this period that Ambassador Wilson’s mission to Africa was suggested by his wife. 6/23/04 Edelman FBI 302 at 2; see also 7/7/04 Edelman FBI 302 at 2-3 (same); 8/6/04 Edelman Grand Jury T at 15-19 (same). Apart from the fact that Mr. Edelman contradicts Schmall on a significant point, the government may have elected not to call him because he makes clear in his grand jury testimony that he does not recall any mention of Ms. Wilson in his discussion with Mr. Libby following the June 19 New Republic article (see Indictment at 5-6 12-13) , and he never discussed with Mr. Libby the nature of the "complications" to which Mr. Libby referred. 8/6/04 Edelman Grand Jury T. at 29-30.

Now, as to the substance of Edelman’s denial that he was talking about Plame when he advocated leaking "information" to rebut Joe Wilson, here’s what the indictment said. It clearly relies on a witness or some other evidence that is not named Scooter Libby.

Shortly after publication of the article in The New Republic, LIBBY spoke by telephone with his then Principal Deputy and discussed the article. That official asked LIBBY whether information about Wilson’s trip could be shared with the press to rebut the allegations that the Vice President had sent Wilson. LIBBY responded that there would be complications at the CIA in disclosing that information publicly, and that he could not discuss the matter on a non-secure telephone line.

And in his grand jury testimony, Edelman told a story that did not directly contradict the substance of testimony apparently given about that conversation, but conveniently denies everything for which there was no apparent witness (that is, if you thought Edelman were trustworthy, you might just think Edelman dropped the issue after the witness stopped following it).

That’s interesting. But I’m much more interested in this part of the footnote.

According to Mr. Edelman, Mr. Schmall showed him internal CIA emails about the Wilson trip.

For those who’ve forgotten, I wrote a long post in July speculating that the source of Dick’s knowledge that Plame worked at CPD (and that she had some role in his trip) was the emails that Valerie sent relating to Joe’s trip.

This is the post I’ve been promising for weeks, in which I will speculate wildly as to the source of Cheney’s knowledge about Plame’s role at CPD and in her husband’s trip. Here’s the argument, in brief:

  • Cheney learns during the week of June 9 that "Defense and State expressed a strong interest in the Niger intelligence"
  • At a time when Cheney presumably already knew that information, he tried to get CIA to repeat it in such a way that it could be published
  • This suggests he could not use his original source for that information (either because the source refused to publish that information or because he wanted to hide the source itself)
  • One possible explanation (this is speculation, mind you) is that Cheney saw Valerie Wilson’s emails leading up to Wilson’s trip to Niger–which would have informed him of key information–and would have made it clear that Valerie’s identity was protected

My general point was that the only known document that has some of the information that Dick communicated to Libby in Libby’s purportedly June 12 note (pictured above)–particularly the interest of DOD and State in the intelligence–are two emails that Valerie sent in support of Joe’s trip.

Valerie Wilson’s memo to Niger is one of two known documents where the DOD/State information appears

Understand something about the DOD/State talking point: it comes from CPD. The SSCI report reports CPD officials repeating that detail:

Officials from the CIA’s DO Counterproliferation Division (CPD) told Committee staff that in response to questions from the Vice President’s Office and the Departments of State and Defense on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, CPD officials discussed ways to obtain additional information. [my emphasis]

Grenier also describes learning that information from someone in CPD. He first calls "Kevin," the Deputy Chief of the unit working on Iraqi WMD (this may or may not be the JTFI). Kevin doesn’t call back–someone Grenier didn’t know called back, but still within CPD. And that person tells Grenier (who tells Libby) of the interest on the part of DOD/State.

Now it’s possible that the people in CPD were just working from memory, from having been intimately involved. But if they learned this information from documents, there are two known documents within CPD that mention the interest of State and DOD. There is the report, written by the reports officer, forwarded to Valerie and others, about the rising interest in the Niger intelligence. From the latest SSCI:

The report was forwarded in an e-mail from a CIA reports officer to Mrs. Wilson and a number of other recipients which said that the DO had received a number of calls from the Intelligence Community about the Iraq-Niger uranium report, citing the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and SOCOM, specifically. [my emphasis]

[Note, the report by the minority of the minority goes on to claim that CPD didn’t tell SSCI about DOD/State’s interest … I guess they didn’t read their own report.]

But this report doesn’t use precisely the terms used in Cheney’s talking point–State and DOD. Rather, it is more specific, mentioning INR and DIA and SOCOM.

However, Valerie Wilson’s cable, sent to Niger to get concurrence for Wilson’s trip, does include precisely that language.

Mrs. Wilson sent a cable that was sent overseas requesting concurrence with Ambassador Wilson’s travel to Niger. … the cable drafted by Mrs. Wilson was sent … on February 13, … Interestingly, the cable states that "both State and DOD have requested additional clarification and indeed, the Vice President’s office just asked for background information. [my emphasis]

In other words, if Cheney’s talking point came from a document (and not someone’s direct memory), then it may well have come from this cable.

Now cable is often (and I’ve confirmed that is the case here) spook-speak for email. That is, one possible source for Dick Cheney’s talking points he gives to Libby (and subsequently tries to get CIA to cough up publicly via other channels) is an "internal CIA email about Wilson’s trip," one written by Valerie Wilson. An email, I might add, that makes some precautions to prevent revealing Valerie’s real identity.

Which is why I find it mighty interesting that, in the same grand jury appearance where Eric Edelman gives testimony that appears to dispute the sense of with one other witness or piece of evidence, as well as the testimony that (this filing makes clear) contradicts the testimony of Craig Schmall, he also claims (in yet more testimony that contradicts the testimony of Craig Schmall) that Schmall showed him internal CIA emails from which he learned certain things about the trip.

In short, two witnesses challenge Edelman’s account, so we should be mighty dubious of his testimony.

What do I think happened? If Edelman lied about Schmall showing him emails–and if he claimed those emails were the ones written by Plame–then what does it mean for the Plame leak?

In my previous post on this, I suggested that one likely motive for Dick’s and Libby’s attempts to get CIA to cough of information that Dick already knew was that Dick reviewed those emails via an illicit source and couldn’t just leak it wildly. [It probably pays, at this point, to remind that this is all wild-arsed speculation.]

Reasons why Cheney needed a new source

There are a number of reasons why Cheney might need a new source to spread the DOD/State talking point, including:

  • McLaughlin refused to state the talking point on the record
  • Cheney’s original source wasn’t someone in the CIA
  • Cheney’s original information came from a source that made it clear Plame was covert

These are not necessarily exclusive: after all, McLaughlin may have refused to state the talking point on the record because the only source for it was classified and/or made it clear that Plame’s identity was classified. Or Cheney’s original source–someone assigned outside of CIA like David Shedd or Fred Fleitz, perhaps–may have had learned the information via a source that made it clear that Plame was covert.

Now, if Cheney really saw those emails, and if Cheney needed to hide that fact, and if Edelman was as dutifully protecting Cheney as Libby ultimately was, then you might imagine that Edelman might lie about having seen those documents, to hide the fact that Cheney was the one who saw them, by some illicit means. I mean, WTF, it appears that Edelman may have been lying in everything else he said to the grand jury, why not lie to protect Cheney (well, and those other lies, if they were lies, sort of protected Cheney, too).

In other words, I’m wondering if Edelman lied to invent an alternate means for OVP to know the content of Valerie’s emails, one that conveniently implicated CIA, to protect Dick.

It’s all wild-arsed speculation, mind you. But it might be worth noting Edelman’s current position: Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. One might call that post the "Dougie Feith Propaganda Office," in honor of Edelman’s predecessor at the position. Edelman was one of the deeply conflicted people who submitted a leniency letter on behalf of Libby. And it appears that he may have been the first one to suggest leaking Plame’s identity, not many days before Libby did so to Judy Miller.

There’s reason to believe that Edelman might lie about this subject.

52 replies
  1. pdaly says:

    Does anyone ever check out Edelmann’s story and ask CIA briefer Schmall wether he (Schmall) showed Edelmann the emails by Valerie?

    Schmall’s comment that he didn’t have knowledge of the names of Ambassador Wilson or his wife may suggest the answer is ‘No,’ but a devil’s advocate could argue Schmall was parsing here.

  2. pdaly says:

    I forgot the meaning of some of Libby’s symbols.
    What does the ‘) symbol mean on the second line of the exhibit you reproduced, below the word ‘telephone’? And how does one form it?

    (The symbol looks like a colon or semicolon without the lower mark and then a closed parenthesis)

    • Jeff says:

      What does the ‘) symbol mean on the second line of the exhibit you reproduced

      That’s actually a great and non-trivial question that I don’t think anyone has ever figured out. It shows up in various places in Libby’s notes. I believe Addington was asked about this at trial and either didn’t get to answer or claimed no knowledge of what it meant.

      It is significant in this case because there is some dispute as to whether the line “Took place at our behest” is Cheney saying that Wilson’s trip took place at the behest of OVP or rather Cheney quoting directly what he was told by CIA, so that “our behest” means “at the behest of the CIA”; and the meaning of that symbol might settle it.

        • Jeff says:

          Not sure I’m understanding this, but Libby’s claim was that that top part of the note was not talking points but rather Cheney reporting what he’d heard from the CIA. And Libby’s lawyer claimed that what that line meant was that Cheney was quoting the CIA saying that Plame had been sent at their – i.e. the CIA’s – behest. That may or may not be so, but that’s the claim.

  3. Rayne says:

    Curious that Edelman changes jobs in July 2003 to become our ambassador to Turkey; it doesn’t look like his predecessor needed replacing since W. Robert Pearson went on to work in Foreign Service after leaving his ambassadorship. He’d have been out the door earlier if he wasn’t a team player. Pearson speaks Turkish; does Edelman?

    Jeff might want to make an investment in a portable scanner like Neat Receipts 3.0 for you if he wants to avoid such torture.

  4. Jeff says:

    Setting aside your apparent agreement with Michael Mukasey that whether torture is okay or not is relative to the circumstances, I’ve got a couple of questions. First, I’m not seeing the basis for your inference that there was another witness to the Libby-Edelman conversation. This may be obvious, but somehow I’m missing it. Moreover, it’s very plausible, especially given what we learned about te OVP’s conventions, where frequently a support person – usually Mayfield or Martin, from what we know – would be on the phone taking notes of a conversation one of the major OVP people was an actual participant in. But I’m not seeing anything clearly pointing to that here.

    And here’s the thing about the question of the original source of Cheney’s knowledge: I still don’t get why it would make sense to lie and put it on the CIA briefer from whom OVP learned classified information all the time in order to hide another source who maybe shouldn’t have had access to that information. I mean, it’s not like they would lie to protect that source, David Shedd, Fred Fleitz or other. And wouldn’t it make more sense to say, Yeah, Shedd gave us this info, we had no idea what to make of it or where it came from, and after all he was not at the CIA, so there was no particular reason to think it was classified – I mean, it’s not like we heard it from our CIA briefer or something.

    See what I mean?

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      (My tinfoil hat firmly in place, I can now comment…)

      I assume that Cheney got his hands on the Plame emails by violating FISA.

      So what if Plame’s emails were encrypted? He’d have been able to order decoding by inventing a Pixie Dust Unitary Executive Post-9-11 Hocus Pocus Abracadabra Memo.

      Could he afford to let anyone know how he had come by the Plame emails? Of course not. That must have posed several problems:
      (1) it meant that he had to create a bogus excuse for how they came into his hands, which meant attributing their origin to others, and also
      (2) it meant that he had to control FISA revisions — and get his revisions through a cowed, compliant Congress before anyone started asking too many questions about surveillance.

      Hence, the triangulating about where they came from, plus Cheney’s hysterical, belligerant rants about FISA and State Secrets (even last week before a safe audience at the Heritage Foundation).

      • Jeff says:

        Sorry, not buying! There are so many other, more ordinary routes to it, plus I firmly believe that the belief we know Addington – and I would bet Cheney – hold that FISA is a stupid law is entirely sincere and is not solely an excuse to cover up his own wrongdoing.

        He’d have been able to order decoding by inventing a Pixie Dust Unitary Executive Post-9-11 Hocus Pocus Abracadabra Memo.

        I believe you’re missing the point of Pixie Dust. The point is that the President doesn’t need no stinking memo. Regardless of what an Executive Order states, the President can act however he wants with respect to the subject of an Executive Order, since his action is a de facto modification of the Executive Order wherever the action and the Order conflict.

        But the violation of FISA is a different matter, since FISA is a proper legislative statute, not an Executive Order. The administration has evidently come up with a different set of rationales for why the president can violation FISA without doing anything for which he is accountable.

        • bigbrother says:

          Addington – and I would bet Cheney – hold that FISA is a stupid law …

          I want what you got and I am going to take it…but I don’t want to get in trouble so I will make up a story to make my action seem reasonable… cowboys shot first and ask questions later. What ever I know my REES will agree with.

          I want to rule the world…that is BUSH/CHENEY plain and simple…my corporate buddies agree, since I won’t regulate them, with me and they have the power to elect. With this awesome power and the tools that my government has the cause justifies the means…them that has the gold makes the rule.

          The rule of law is seen as something to get around. Catch me if you can while I laugh all the way to the bank…with your money.

          They did the crimes, they are caught and should do the time one and all.

        • sunshine says:

          Maybe they had someone on the other end (overseas) spying? I would assume if they were illegally spying on overseas communications in the US, wouldn’t they also being doing the same thing over seas where is wasn’t illegal? Has any one looked at it from this perspective?

      • TheConfidenceMan says:

        Absolutely, OfTeaLeaves — that was my first reaction to “Cheney was the one who saw them, by some illicit means” as well: that Cheney was using the telcos to sniff through CIA and other governmental voice/data traffic.

        Remember, the Nixon team’s most comprehensive snooping operations were conducted not on civilians, but on fellow administrative operators.

        • Leen says:

          Remember when Senators Biden, Dodd, Kerry etc were demanding that Bolton and the Bush crew hand over the NSA intercepts that many believe have to do with Bolton(Cheney) spying on Colin Powell’s negotiations with Iran?

    • emptywheel says:

      Two things. Yes, I assume the most likely source of the info is Martin. But my reason for believing there is another witness (Martin) is because we know Libby was not asked about this–at least not in two long days of GJ testimony–yet if Edelman disagrees about the content of this with someone, then it must be someone else. I don’t think Fitz would use it in the way he did in the indictment if there weren’t reason to believe it was more pertinent than what Edelman said (a point of comparison is that he doesn;t mention being told of the VP order to leak to Judy, which Libby appears to have shaded to hide the incriminating nature of it). Also, IIRC from the new stuff, there was a meeting on June 16 on how to respond to the allegations, so it may be that Edelman was conferenced in.

      As to why hide Shedd, if it is Shedd. If you get information from someone who is not your briefer–perhaps at a time for which there’d be no ready explanation for getting info, then it suggests a much greater degree of interest than if you ask your briefer in the morning. Furthermore, if Sheddd had to go back to CIA to get this stuff (or even more crazy, if he had it), then it would suggest going to much greater lengths to research her.

      • Jeff says:

        But the question I am raising is more basic: I am not seeing where there is any evidence that Edelman disagreed with anyone on the content of the June conversation with Libby.

        What you say about Shedd (or whomever) makes sense, though it is a matter of balance against the considerations I raised, I think.

  5. Jeff says:

    One other note related to one of the many points you make here. The talking point OVP was using indicated there was interest from State and DoD in the Niger story, not just OVP. But as you know, Novak in his infamous column added the White House itself to that list of those who were interested in the Niger story. I still wonder where that came from. But my note is just to recall that Libby’s notes on the 7-13-03 Dowd column includes a little not that appears to read, expanding from Libby’s notation system, “White House State and Defense.” Maybe, even probably, Libby just got that from Novak’s column, which his notes indicate he had clearly read by the time he wrote these notes. But I wonder if that’s so, and from where Novak himself got the claim.

  6. bigbrother says:


    At first I was angry at the law community. Now I see what you are all facing.
    1. The US population that has been criminalised is reaching a tipping point where their behavior is so prevalent as to be legal by accepted prctices socially. I am referring to the wide class/crossing use of drugs…example the PRESIDENT OF THE USA is an admitted past drug user. Police academies have to accept candidates that have abused drugs.
    The jails are filled with people who are using drugs in a culture where big PHARMA dispenses a pill for almost every complaint.
    2.Almost the entire world sees us as criminals, thugs and bullies who RAPE, PILLAGE, STEAL AND DESTROY at will.
    When the rules of engagement become shot first and aske questions later. When the war crimes are not tried but swept under the rug.
    When Americans are not allowed to know what their governments are doing in their name. When our constitutional rights are denied by a rogue executive branch then we all know that the rule of law is not working. The world knows that the leaders of the free world have lost their moral compass. We all know that a great part of the wealth of the free…and I use the term loosely…world is owned by lawyers.
    That means you hold the ring of power.
    What other nations have done is centralize their wealth in the hands of a few just as you have done. We have created a model of power and wealth distribution that leaves most of the worlds billion in poverty. It is a fuedal system, run btycorporate governnmen not unlike the one we overthrew in the revolutionary war for american independence from Britian and the King of England. The rule of the NICE PEOPLE.
    yOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS… YOU CANNOT BE NICE AND CRUEL AT THE SAME TIME. You are as they say wallowing in the mire and have lost your moral compass.

  7. Markinsanfran says:

    “the June 19 New Republican article”

    Did they really say that? Inadvertent accuracy, at least from the mid-90’s to now.

  8. Leen says:

    When did Bush give permission to Cheney to declassify classified intelligence? How much does this date matter?

    The Uranium claims are at the heart of this case. Those meetings in Italy with the regime change crazies Ledeen, Rhode, Ghorbanifar in 2001 seem to have slipped under the rug.

    “The administration’s reluctance to disclose these details seems clear: the DoD-Ghorbanifar meetings suggest the possibility that a rogue faction at the Pentagon was trying to work outside normal US foreign policy channels to advance a “regime change” agenda not approved by the president’s foreign policy principals or even the president himself.”

  9. dqueue says:

    To me, this approaches convergence with Sibel Edmonds’ assertions. Sibel, working as an FBI translator (she speaks Turkish, Farsi and Azerbaijani) claims to have heard Marc Grossman (via legal wiretaps) burn Brewster Jennings to a contact at Northrop Grumman, I believe. This “burn” occurs during summer, 2001.

    Edelman appears on Sibel’s rogue’s gallery, in what capacity is unclear.

    If Grossman outed Brewster Jennings to a foreign contact, did he already know Valerie worked there? Through his contacts, could he have learned her identity, eventually sniffing her out to CIA?

    I know Sibel’s story has received scant attention in domestic media, much less many blogs. Many characters surface in both the Plame case, as well as Sibel’s assertions. Sibel’s assertions are grievous. Can someone ask Valerie her opinion of Sibel Edmonds?

  10. Leen says:

    Senator Whitehouse up next on C-span’s Washington Journal. 9:30 est

    EW a question having to do with yesterday’s hearing from you or any of the other really knowledgeable folks on this blog would get right through. 202-737-0002 for dems


  11. Leen says:

    I hope one of the hard cores throw out a question

    here is the question that I am sending (I am truly a proud peasant trying to understand how this system works or does not work)

    Senator Whitehouse,

    Attorney General Mukasey seemed to demonstrate a serious lack of concern about how the law defines waterboarding.

    When you asked to talk with him in a private session about whether there are “if’s” in regard to “concrete facts and circumstances” having to do with the legality of waterboarding he seemed to dismiss your request.

    How concerned are you? Will we witness follow through by Congress on this very serious issue?

  12. Leen says:

    Just sent this question into Whitehouse.

    Senator Leahy indicated that there may be more tapes, possibly not destroyed. What can you tell us about this?

    Also sent in a question about whether the individuals who conducted the “enhanced interrogation techniques”/torture were contractors?

  13. Leen says:

    Senator Whitehouse is being hammered with calls about why did you air the U.S.’s dirty laundry in front of the public

    • klynn says:

      Boy those comments must be “staged” from a conservative push…Let’s hammer back with a thank you for beinng a true American and keeping our government “open” to the People.

      • Leen says:

        I agree write Whitehouse! One call in support of congressional oversight. C-span seems to not air e-mails as of late

  14. klynn says:

    When you overlay Edelman as Cheney’s possible source with the AIPAC case, it makes sense that Edelman would have his hands on the emails…

    I know wild arse guessing here too…Then again…

  15. Leen says:

    For the FDL crew on Afghanistan

    Hearing on Afghanistan on C-span now

    This discussion about Afghanistan is about three years late. I have been hearing weekly reports from a young man from Afghanistan studying here in the states on a Fulbright for two and a half years (he communicates with his very large family in Afghanistan weekly) that the situation in Afghanistan has progressively been getting worse.
    Almost seems like they want to lose.

    • Leen says:

      The Afghanistan hearing on c-span

      Senator Hagel just asked how much money has been spent in Afghanistan since our invasion. The expert responded 25 billion. That is three months of what Iraq is costing.

      My friend from Afghanistan (have permission to use his name but will not) has shared how critical it is for the U.S. to subsidize poppy growers for how many years that it takes for to start growing crops that were grown before Russia invaded. (these orchards were wiped out when Russia invaded)

      • jakebob says:

        In re: losing on purpose in Afghanistan.

        When you consider that US could BUY the entire Afghan opium crop for about $4 billion annually and deprive Taliban of an income source… WTF????

        Oh, wait… then we’d be depriving our poor starving arms manufacturers of a percent of their livelihood. Nevermind.

  16. masaccio says:

    I asked if he thinks Mukasey is capable of separating his prosecution hat from his corporate counsel hat in dealing with torture.

  17. sunshine says:

    I remember some time around the time of 911 reading an article abt complaints on cell phones ringing at businesses, churches, theaters, etc. Some places were putting things in to block cell phone calls from going through. It stated in the article that many of the cell phone calls were beamed overseas first and then rerouted back to the US. When I first learned abt the spying on US but only overseas communications, I remember thinking that was most cell phone calls. I can’t swear to this but I thought the aticle said they were rerouted from Israel. Do we know wheather the telecoms were spying on US citizens from overseas? I guess we wouldn’t know that would we?

  18. jnardo says:

    The search for proof that Cheney knew Plame was covert may someday yield results and he was covering his tracks. But there’s another possibility to explain Cheney’s massive reaction to Wilson’s op-ed – a simple explanation. Dick Cheney is crazy. He had a delusion – a fixed, false belief. Wilson’s op-ed threatened to expose his insanity to the world, and to Mr. Cheney himself…

  19. dqueue says:

    Amusingly, Clarice Feldman weighs in on Sibel Edmonds’ assertions today (dare I link to her? Ok, linking, but she does provide links to the UK Sunday Times articles). She writes:

    My own view is that the media have well-supported questions about Edmonds’ credibility. Interestingly, there is a whistleblowers operation supporting her that has some overlapping membership with the oddly-named Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs) which insisted the government’s case against Libby was solid, that Plame’s career was destroyed when she was “outed” and that she was involved at the time in very important, top secret matters.

    It’s my understanding that the Senators briefed by Sibel Edmonds determined she was credible, as did the FBI’s inspector general. In my limited understanding, the government’s case against Libby was solid; he was convicted on four of five felony counts. Seemingly, Valerie Plame’s career was destroyed, whether by Grossman’s alleged outing of Brewster Jennings, or by Novakula.

  20. LS says:

    One thing that we now know that the Administration was doing illegally at that time was eavesdropping and gathering information, including emails, which could explain why Cheney would have needed another method to reveal the information without revealing the program.

    Also, it seems pretty clear that if Sibel Edmonds’ story is correct that Edelman would have known who Plame was and what she was doing with Brewster Jennings….and that Plame was a threat to their nuclear proliferation operations in Turkey and that stopping Brewster Jennings and Plame was the motive to go after her…and that the attack on Joe Wilson was really the red herring in the whole story.

    The characters that keep coming up are Edelman and Feith….in both stories.

  21. JohnLopresti says:

    I think ew’s is a worthwhile review here, as are those creel and waders expeditions at Prettyman, especially in light of the ellucidations which become incrementally more understandable as other matters surface. I recall the photocopied note as likely Mayfield’s rendering of Libby’s notes of a meeting between Cheney and Libby, but, the topic of the post, as always, goes beyond to the various teleologies. Perhaps I am mired in the ancient history of the morphing of MZM in summer 2002 from a EOVP IT contractor to a pentagon contractor that autumn, and am waiting for some funny headers to surface in emails, though surely TheCompany keeps their own IT in sophisticated control. A ‘cable’ could be a missive in the legacy Notes platform in 2002 and afterward for as long as stalwarts opted to preserve their trusty backoffice Notes messaging architecture as Exchange’s deployment progressed.

  22. radiofreewill says:

    EW – Another great article! Edelman is a Total Kool-Aid Drinker – he’d have no problem being a Cheney-martyr, just like Libby. Also, I agree that the only ’source-fit’ for talking point number 4 in the 6/12 CPD Note is Valerie’s 2/13/02 Cable/E-mail.

    In addition, It seems clear that both the 2/13/02 Cable/E-mail and the 6/12 CPD Note make it plain that Valerie Wilson and “his wife,” respectively, work in the Counterproliferation Division.

    When a guy like Libby, who had all the Security Clearances, hears that someone, anyone, is in CPD, he would have assumed Classified CIA Employment – in the same way that if you were an academic and someone gave a paper at a Symposium on Quantum Physics, you would assume that that speaker was a PhD.

    Libby ‘could’ have known that she was Covert, allthough he denied it, but by 6/12 he and Cheney almost certainly ‘knew’ her CIA Employment was Classified by virtue of knowing Valerie worked in the Counterproliferation Division – which meant “complications at the CIA” with public disclosure, as Edelman would come to hear it from Libby on 6/19.

    It looks like those ‘complications’ were overcome about three weeks later…

  23. emptywheel says:


    I think it’s simpler than that. The documents which Edelman claims he may have seen but which I think Cheney saw–my understanding is they made it clear that Valerie’s identity was protected.

  24. radiofreewill says:

    I saw in the Addington 2 live-blog that for any Document Requests/Subpoenas by the Government, Bush, Cheney and Libby would sweep through their files first for ‘privileged’ communications, and pick them out before Addington either saw them, or responded with a Production. Bush and Cheney would also ‘review’ a Document Production before Addington sent it to the Government.

    In the Addington 1 live-blog, Addington describes to Fitz his July 8th meeting with Libby in the morning just before the Secret Mission to Judy:

    “F Conversation about CIA paperwork

    A Asked if someone worked at CIA, would there be records. Normal for him to ask me bc he knew I worked at the CIA. Kind of paperwork would depend on whether you were on the Operations or Analytical side. On operational side, CIA officers are not just free to use whoever they want, need to get approval, requesting permission to use someone, would generate paperwork approval. On analytical side there’d be a letter of instruction or contract. In any case, this is the govt, when you spend money, there’s a money trail. I did tell him also it had been 20 years since I worked at the CIA.”

    Addington’s response on the records question contains an ‘implicit discriminator’ that is True beyond just issues of documentation – Operators – CPD – are Covert, while Analysts – WINPAC – are not Covert (unless they are ‘on-loan’ from Operations.)

    It certainly seems to me that Valerie’s 2/13/02 Cable would have been a dead giveaway that she was on the Operational side of the House – and Operators are Covert. Frankly, in addition, her 2/12/02 Memo is written in the voice of an Operator Team Leader/Manager talking to the Operators on her Team, too.

    So, Joe Wilson was sent on a Covert Mission to Niger, arranged according to the Usual Covert Protocols, by the Covert Operators in CPD, and debriefed just like a Covert Operator after his Mission.

    After McLaughlin’s 6/11 meeting with Cheney to explain Joe Wilson’s Trip – “sent by the functional office,” and Grenier telling Libby later that afternoon that “Joe Wilson’s wife works in CP, the division that sent Joe” – How could Cheney and Libby Not have known Valerie was Covert – especially if Cheney had seen Valerie’s 2/13/02 Cable (the only ’source fit’ for Cheney’s Talking Point #4 – “OVP, Defense and State expressed strong interest”)?

    Up to now, I’ve been certain that Bush, Cheney and Libby knew Valerie’s CIA Employment was Classified before they leaked it, but skeptical that they ‘knew’ she was Covert.

    Now, however, I strongly suspect that they Knew she was Covert, and outed her anyway, as part of their Plan to Blame the CIA for the Bad Intell Work that led to the Invasion.

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